What is Cubital Tunnel Syndrome?
CTS is a condition that involves pressure or stretching of the ulnar nerve (also known as the “funny bone” nerve), which can cause numbness or tingling in the ring and small fingers, pain in the forearm, and/or weakness in the hand. CTS is caused by nerve compression. In turn, this causes irritation of the ulnar nerve as it passes the wrist or elbow. Symptoms range from pain and discomfort to numbness and reduced mobility. Therefore, in some cases, nerve entrapment can cause pain and discomfort and can cause muscle weakness in the affected area.
What are the Reasons for Developing Cubital Tunnel Syndrome?
If you have developed cubital tunnel syndrome as a result of the negligence of another party or individual you may seek a legal remedy. CTS is almost always related to overuse or repetitive strain in connection with physical activity, for example, manual handling in a warehouse. It can also be caused by simply applying too much pressure on the elbow, for example, sitting at a desk all day and leaning your elbow on a hard surface.
What are the Symptoms for Cubital Tunnel Syndrome?
- Weakness if the affected area
- Pain and discomfort
- Deformity of the hand
- Reduced mobility of arm, hand and fingers
- Unable to grip items
- Tingling sensation and numbness of the affected area
What are the Causes for Cubital Tunnel Syndrome?
Work based Activities
Cubital tunnel syndrome is most commonly linked with the workplace and can be caused by a number of workplace based activities. This includes;
- Frequent reaching
- Carrying out repetitive activities
- Poor lifting and manual handling
- Using a computer
Most commonly associated with overuse and repetitive strain injuries caused in the workplace, cubital tunnel syndrome can develop following a previous injury which may have put pressure on the ulnar nerve. In order to prevent these injuries, there should be measures in place to ensure that workers have adequate rest breaks and only spend a limited time using certain machinery or carrying out a task. Training can also help to prevent these injuries.
Overuse / Repetitive Strain
An overuse injury is defined as any injury to a muscle or joint which is caused by carrying out repetitive actions over an extended period of time. They can occur in any part of the skeletal system. Overuse is commonly associated with cubital tunnel syndrome as this can develop as a result of repetitive pressure which is put on the muscles over time.
Who is Liable?
Cubital tunnel syndrome is mostly associated with workplace injuries. It is the most common injury caused as a result of repetitive strain and overuse. For those who are working a manual job that involves heavy lifting or working on an assembly line. It is likely that the tasks and movement carried out will be repetitive. Therefore, it is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that the employees are given regular breaks. In order to ensure that overuse is not an issue. Therefore, when an employer fails to give an employee regular breaks they may be found liable for the injury.
All employers have a responsibility to ensure that they manage activities in a way which prioritises health and safety and this should be a priority for them. They are also required to provide training and personal protective equipment so as to help prevent accidents and injuries in the workplace. Failing to do so could result in injuries being sustained that they could be found liable for. Cubital tunnel syndrome is more commonly associated with certain industries. This includes;
- Warehouse workers
- Construction workers